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Living Kidney Donor Motivation?

I offer these results from a recently published academic paper (without comment):


Our study showed the presence of narcissistic, histrionic, and obsessive-compulsive personality traits in living kidney donors


Okay, one comment. I’m amused by this on a number of levels, mostly due to my professional education (Masters’ degree in Counseling), but also because it’s the opposite of the usual characterization of living donors. The public message (er- propaganda) is all about altruism, heroism, giving, generosity, etc. Here’s a group of researchers who looked at a very small sample LKDs and said, “Nope, y’all aren’t ready for your halo and wings yet”.

While it would be easy to dismiss these findings, especially if one takes them personally, identifying the above listed traits will help suss out one’s motivation to donate. Again, some people might think the reason(s) someone donates to be of little importance, especially if one overwhelmingly prioritizes the recipient’s situation over that of the potential living donor.  However, a significant correlation exists between donor expectations and motivation, and how one fares psycho-socially post-donation (also a huge factor in the donor-recipient post-donation relationship).

Expanding on these very tentative findings can hopefully help identify and categorize potential LDs traits and motivations, which can then be used to predict, or perhaps prevent, post-donation psychosocial difficulties. And I think we can all agree that’s a good thing.


2 replies on “Living Kidney Donor Motivation?”

The interpretation of psychological traits may be complicated. From my experience, certain people with autistic traits are quite idealistic and have positive causes. Psychological tests may, however, pick their strong obsessive-compulsive traits. I saw some autistic people being diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder in tests. The tests themselves were designed a long time ago. Since that time, some diagnoses, like schizoid personality, have simply been kicked off the list. I am not quite sure one can even use these tests as predictive any longer.

I’m guessing that you didn’t look at the specifics of this study and the tool used. Folks diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder are different in very unique cognitive ways than non-spectrum people. How the spectrum population reveal themselves on certain assessments (Which are you’re referring to? There are a multitude of assessment tools that fall under the category of “psychological tests”) really has nothing to do with these non-spectrum study subjects and the validity of Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory, the tool used.

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